From Construction Forum STL:
by Tom Finan, Executive Director, Construction Forum STL
There’s a new book out “The Next American City: The Big Promise of Our Midsize Metros” that begins its story with a wakeup call. The author is Nick Cornett, former four-term mayor of Oklahoma City. Cornett writes that the rude awakening for his city was losing a major United Airlines facility to Indy — not for lack of incentives but because — well, who would want to live in Oklahoma City?
“Oklahoma City was an incredible place to live . . . if you were a car,” Cornett wrote.
What followed was a wave of privately-funded development designed to make “OKC” more liveable at human scale, including putting water in a dry river and building a network of people-oriented cycling and walking corridors. This focus on connecting people to their cities and neighborhoods through green space is driving development in cities around the country
On Sept. 27 the Urban Land Institute St. Louis District Council hosted a panel discussion on “The Path to Trail Oriented Development.” The panel was moderated by Paul Vogl, project manager, planning for Great Rivers Greenway. Other Panel participants were Janet Attarian, deputy director of planning, City of Detroit; Jake Dietrich, director of development for Milhaus, an Indianapolis private developer; and SJ Morrison, director of marketing and planning, Madison County (IL) Transit.
In the STL region Great Rivers Greenway (GRG) is leading an effort to connect the Central Corridor from Forest Park with the riverfront and North with South St. Louis with the Chouteau Greenwayprogram. GRG, founded in 2000, has built 16 greenway, completing 54 projects that represent 121 miles of greenway. It has collaborated with over 250 partners in the process, including on the CityArchRiver project.
Twenty Minute Neighborhoods
Detroit’s Janet Attarian came to the Motor City after 20 years in Chicago. In Chicago she gained international recognition for her expertise in the power of green space to transform cities. She would need every bit of that knowledge in Detroit. With Detroit’s inability to raise bonding financing the focus began with the capitalizing on other assets, such vibrant neighborhoods within the community and an existing “bicycle culture”.